Defeat “Blah Blah Blah” - be the Person Others WANT to Talk To
The ability to listen, and listen carefully, is a skill that seems to be scarce these days. Conversational “blah blah blah” is so common, there’s a day to commemorate it! April 17th is Blah Blah Blah Day. Defeat the disregard of dialogue with these three tips to improve your listening skills.
Use Physical Cues
Non-verbal communication is often far louder than a person’s voice. Position your body in a way to pay attention to the speaker by looking at them directly. Open posture, occasional nodding, and appropriate facial expressions go a long way toward showing someone that you are present--and listening.
Check for Understanding; Ask for Clarification
One of the most powerful ways to listen is to check for understanding. When someone talks about their issue, check in to ensure you understand what they said. Ask additional questions for clarification to help better understand their points, feelings, and opinions.
The best way to wrap up a conversation is to summarize what was said. Summarizing the speaker’s words shows that not only did you get the most important parts but that you were actively engaged in their entire story!
Whether through physical cues, questions, or summarizing, there are plenty of ways to show you are present in both mind and body as you actively listen.